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2011 In Review & 2012 What’s New

1 Jan

I guess it’s that time. Time to consider what it is I’ve done this year.

First let me just thank every one of you that is reading this post, and who have read many others (and who I hope will continue to read my ramblings). Without you, I would be mumbling into the empty space that is the internet, and even though talking to yourself isn’t the worst off you can be, it’s nice to know that you all like to check in now and then and see what I’m up to.

Which brings us to accomplishments (which all of you have contributed to). This year has been my first year of blogging and it’s been amazing! I’ve (miraculously) been able to blog once a week for an entire year! And through that I’ve gained you, my lovely subscribers and followers. Over the course of this year I’ve gained 50 word-press subscribers and another 15 email subscribers, which if you can do simple math means Novel Ideas has 65 subscribers! *Squeals like a little girl*. Sure I don’t think I’ll make top subscription numbers or anything, but for a silly blonde girl running around madly with a laptop, a bag of books, and a dream… well, I think I’ve done pretty well.

And for all my invisible followers (I know some of you in person and I’m sure there are others out there in the web) I encourage you to go click that little subscribe button in the right corner or on the control bar! It would mean a lot to me if it’s not too much trouble.

Besides all these things I have also been doing a lot of new stuff on NI that I’m really proud of! I hosted my first give away this year ( the Shatter Me giveaway if you’ll recall) (whose results will be up tomorrow). I also am still hosting a flash fiction contest that you all are very welcome to participate in (you can find that HERE), and win Clock Work Prince by Cassandra Clare.

Plus, I began doing book reviews. I’ve really enjoyed doing those for y’all, and hope to do a lot more of them in 2012!

Along with the blogging goals I’ve achieved I also managed to do a lot writing wise it 2011. I finished the first draft of The Shadows That Fell (my dystopian nightmare of a manuscript), and started a collaboration novel with my fabulous critique partner Carolyn(called ABLAZE). I also managed to work on my novels CARVE, The Light That Shattered, and UNTITLED (still working on that one, obviously…). I critiqued a betas manuscript (which was über fun and amazing by the way!), and learned a lot from that.

Besides all this I feel like I achieved a lot of personal goals in my life this year (but I won’t go into those).

So with all that behind us what is Novel Ideas, and what am I doing in 2012?

For starters I’m really looking forward to doing some blog series. Last year I began the “Story Weaving on Steroids” and the “How Creative People Think” series,but didn’t have much time to devote to them, but this year I’m really going to focus on writing advice and adding onto those series. That’s good news for you writers, because you will get lots of new material to read!

As I mentioned before, I will also be doing a lot more book reviews this year (you readers will be in good too then!).

I’m also going to start a new blogging series ( a slightly less serious one) called “This is What Writing Looks Like”. It’s going to be a photo series, and I’m hoping you all will like it. Be on the look out for that in the coming months.

For my writing goals I’m planning on writing draft two of The Shadows that Fell and then working on CARVE and UNTITLED. (which I’m sure will have a title by the end of the year). I’m going to be taking a beta reading break, and trying to focus on my own writing, I’m still really excited to see what all my writer friends are going to be up to though.

Finally, my reading goal for this year is going to be 50 books! Ten more than 2011. I’m pretty sure I can reach it. I’ll have the updated sidebar badge over there >>>>>

After I post this so, feel free to take a click and see where I’ll be putting all the titles of the books I’ll read this year!

Over all I think 2011 went really well for me (writerly and otherwise) and I hope it went as well for you all!

Have a great 2012 and I hope you keep coming back to Novel Ideas for more posts and ramblings!

Best Wishes,

Ally

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Finally, A Title!

16 Mar

One down nine to go everyone! If you’ll remember one of my new years resolutions was to figure out my title for “guardians” as my current WIP has been called.

And… I have!

Over thinking these types of things (names especially) just seems to make it even harder to figure out. For some reason, the title for the last 6+ months i’d been working on my manuscript had been escaping me. Why? good question. But it was really bugging me I didn’t feel like I was officially “writing” anything  because it didn’t have a name yet.

Kind of like knowing someone and not knowing their first name. You get the gist of what their about (i.e. their last name, in my case I knew the general direction of the title – Guardians) but you can’t really connect until you have that personal title.

AND NOW I HAVE IT! Yeah! So without further ado I give you the title page of my manuscript:

Guard My Heart

By Alexandra Sestito

More than all else that is to be guarded, safeguard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life. ~Proverbs 4:23

 

So what do your think? Have I hit the nail on the head?

Now I must go find my large black sharpie and cross the resolution off my list yipppeee!

PS: I’ve updated the Announcements and Me Currently Pages. Check them out if you wish.

 
 

 

New Years Resolutions (AKA The Best Thing You Can Do.)

26 Dec

It is that time of year again people! Christmas has passed, and we are just counting down the days until new years. This is one of my favorite times of the year. The end and the beginning. My favorite part? New Years Resolutions. GASP! You may say. She is crazy, New Years Resolutions? No one actually sticks to those. Well, I do.

To clear this up let me start by saying that I am a very goal oriented person. I like to have a focus something that tells me where I’m going but not how to get there because I am fiercely independent like that. I guess I view New Year’s resolutions as an opportunity to shape my future. If I follow through. Which I do. I think the reason a lot of people don’t succeed is because they make goals that are broad like “get healthy”. What does that mean? How do you know when you are healthy? When can you justify crossing that off your list? So, I like to make mine specific, with a goal that is in reach, but I still have to push myself to do.

Another reason I believe resolutions fail is the simple fact that people make goals they can’t cross off until December 31. Like “do fifteen crunches everyday”. Personally I like to see the process of my resolutions being accomplished through out the year. I like being able to take my jumbo sharpie and swipe off one every few months. Makes me feel like I’ve done something.

At this point you’re probably all burning with curiosity to see what my resolutions are (or maybe not, but it doesn’t matter I’m telling you them anyway) so here you go:

1. Finish Manuscript

2. Dissect a novel and take notes.

3. Blog at least once a week

4. fill up sketchbook

5. Get all A’s second quarter

6. Do a painting/drawing and give it to someone

7. Save $150 or more for Florida

8. Read a Charles Dickens novel

9. Come up with title for Manuscript

10. Bake a cake from scratch with strawberries in it & eat it

So, as you can see a few of these revolve around my novel which I am praying will be done in the next few months, but who knows, maybe I’ll slave away at this thing for fifteen years and die with out it being published.

SHUT UP inner saboteur

*Sighs* What do you guys think about New Years Resolutions? What are yours for this year?